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CLIMIT-Forskning, utvikling og demo av CO2-håndtering

Future Drinking Water Levels of Nitrosamines and Nitramines near a CO2 Capture Plant

Alternative title: Fremtidige drikkevannsnivåer av nitrosaminer og nitraminer nær CO2- fangstanlegg

Awarded: NOK 10.0 mill.

With the government's climate initiative, the Longship Project, CO2 will be captured from the waste incineration plant at Klemetsrud in Oslo and from the cement factory in Brevik. In FuNitr, leading research institutions will, together with the industry, fill knowledge gaps to contribute to safe and cost-efficient CO2 capture. The applied amine technology is associated with by-products of carcinogenic and possibly carcinogenic nitrosamines and nitramines, respectively. The compounds form in the air from amines escaping with the cleaned flue gas. Risk is related to the nitrosamines/nitramines ending up in our open drinking water sources. Recommended drinking water limits exist, but no method can monitor the nitrosamines/nitramines in water. Instead, the amount of amines escaping the capture plant can be measured. For each capture plant, an amine emission permit is set based on the chemical reactions involved, local weather conditions, distance between the capture plant and the lake, etc. However, the current methodology is simplified, and worst-case scenarios are applied where knowledge is missing. This can produce unnecessary strict amine emission permits, and requirements for expensive and energy intensive emission reduction measures. The aim of FuNitr is to improve the methodology by combining numerical modeling with new measurements, and laboratory experiments. A fundamentally new atmospheric model will be developed to describe the chemical reactions in air. The model will be validated against measurements from the capture plants at Klemetsrud and the Technology Centre Mongstad (TCM) e.g., from flying a helicopter through the flue gas. Further, the model will be expanded to also cover processes on the ground. On the ground, it is uncertain if microorganisms can degrade nitramines. This will be explored experimentally, and the results feed into the model. The main outcome of FuNitr is an advanced modeling tool – useful for both the industry and the authorities.

Technology for CO2 capture (CC) is identified as a key climate change mitigation option, with the use of amines as the most feasible alternative for industrial capture. In Norway, amine-based CC operations must comply to strict amine emission permits set to protect nearby drinking water sources from the carcinogenic amine-degradation products of nitrosamines (NSAs) and nitramines (NAs). The current emission permits are calculated from incomplete scientific knowledge and very conservative and safe assumptions that likely put unnecessary constraints on the already costly technology. An interdisciplinary approach will be taken to produce new knowledge and tools needed to make realistic future estimates of NSAs and NAs in waters. In detail, a fundamentally new atmospheric model will be developed and validated by in-situ plume measurements. To describe the complete picture from amine emission through atmospheric dispersion and reaction to future water levels in the environment, the atmospheric model will be run together with a catchment model, creating a new robust tool. Laboratory experiments will assess the ability of environmental microbes to degrade the NAs, which as of now, has no identified efficient degradation pathway (NSAs will rapidly degrade from sunlight). The model tool will be demonstrated at the Oslo waste incineration plant (Fortum Oslo Varme) where full-scale amine CC is underway, and also at the Technology Centre Mongstad (TCM). The modelling tool will be suitable for different sites across the globe. To accelerate dissemination, a user-friendly web-based management tool will be made from the advanced model to aid authorities and the industry in amine emission regulation. FuNitr has the potential of improving the cost-efficiency of the climate change mitigation technology of CC at the same time as ensuring that the drinking water limit is not exceeded.

Funding scheme:

CLIMIT-Forskning, utvikling og demo av CO2-håndtering